Fareham hit back to stun high-fliers

James Roden helped lead the Fareham fightback against Downton
James Roden helped lead the Fareham fightback against Downton
Matt Tubbs played well against Sutton. Picture: Habibur Rahman

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Fareham fought back from 2-1 down to beat joint-leaders Downton in a 3-2 victory at Cams Alders.

Downton made a confident start, with Matt Palmer and Craig Lewis causing problems down the right.

Three times in the opening stages the combination set up Declan McGregor only for the lineman’s flag to halt proceedings.

Fareham were struggling to get the ball out of their own half as, pass after pass, they gifted the ball back to the opposition.

It was a mis-placed pass that gave the visitors the lead on 18 minutes. Matt Holmes intercepted a cross-field ball and set McGregor scampering away to fire the ball under Luke Douglas.

Fareham had barely mustered a shot on goal but they were back on level terms just before the half hour when Matt Scott was adjudged to have fouled Dougie Rowe as they tangled in the area.

After Ben Smith had been booked for his protests, Lindsey confidently rolled home the spot-kick.

The parity lasted just four minutes, though. Matt Parr’s side failed to clear their lines from Downton’s next attack and Vince Rusher was able to cut inside to curl Downton ahead.

Visiting keeper Charlie Aldridge produced a great reflex save to deny Lindsey immediately after the restart.

But there was little he could do as Fareham stunned the visitors with two goals either side of the hour mark.

On 53 minutes Bryn McKie’s shot stuck in the mud as it rolled towards goal but James Roden was quickest to react to force the ball over the line.

Ten minutes later Aldridge could only parry a shot into the path of Kieron Lewis and the left-back gleefully hammered the Creeksiders in front.

Substitute Gary Austin should have made it 4-2 but, having rounded the keeper, he was forced wide and Smith was able to block his shot.

Downton pushed forward in increasing numbers in the closing stages. The home defence held firm, though, to record an eye-catching win.

Wessex League premier division

FAREHAM 3 (Lindsey pen, Roden, Lewis)

DOWNTON 2 (McGregor, Rusher)